Atlanta Hawks ‘interested’ in trading for former NBA champion

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks appear to still be in deal-making mode.

“An interesting player to monitor as the NBA transaction market heats up is Raptors Pascal Siakam. Keep hearing his name out there,” tweeted Michael Grange of Sportsnet on July 2. “Atlanta still interested. Something to watch.”

We first got word of potential interest in Siakam before the draft when Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer reported on June 16 that he was “on the Hawks’ radar” and then again on June 22 when he added that they had tried to entice the Raptors into a trade with “several creative packages” that even included a potential three-team deal.

There was also a report from Marc Stein of the Stein Line on June 24 that the Hawks were still unsuccessfully trying to convince Toronto to accept their offer.

Siakam, 29, averaged career-highs with 24.2 points and 5.8 assists with 7.8 rebounds in 2023.

A former champion, two-time All-NBA selection, and the 2018-19 Most Improved Player of the Year, Siakam comes with plenty of accolades. He also comes at a price that is yet to be fully determined but will almost certainly be expensive.

He is heading into the final year of a four-year, $136.9 million contract next season which would leave the Hawks in a very similar situation to what they are currently facing.

Some league sources pondered the idea of a swap for Dejounte Murray.

Per, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, everyone but Trae Young remains available in the right trade, though Murray is said to be in a tier of his own just below Young in the Hawks’ valuation of the roster.

Atlanta surrendered three unprotected first-round picks, a pick swap, and a useful player to the San Antonio Spurs for Murray last offseason. He made a positive impact, though perhaps not up to expectations, and is set up to go into unrestricted free agency rather than sign a contract extension thanks to league rules.

That seems to be the biggest basis behind the rumors around him.

Others – namely Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter have been mentioned more, particularly Hunter who has been linked to the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, and others.

Atlanta Hawks’ plans for Rudy Gay revealed

In one piece of business that remains unresolved, Lauren L. Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote on June 27 that the Hawks are still exploring their options on what to do with veteran forward Rudy Gay who was acquired in the trade that sent John Collins to the Utah Jazz.

Gay, 36, had to opt into the final year of his contract to help facilitate the deal but, per Williams, is unlikely to play for the Hawks in 2023-24.

They will attempt to trade him but could waive him if no deals materialize.

Gay averaged 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists this past season in a reserve role for Utah. The former No. 8 overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008 is going into his 18th NBA season and is far from the player he once was.

Next. Hawks land pair of former 1st-round picks from Rockets. dark

Still, surely there is a title contender with some spot minutes or a young team in need of his kind of veteran leadership. But will the Hawks be able to take advantage of it?